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Martin Bashir

News/Business. Journalist Martin Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.

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Boehner 11, Washington 8, Lapierre 7, Chuck Hagel 7, Us 5, Unitedhealthcare Insurance Company 4, Geico 4, Wayne Lapierre 4, Hawaii 4, Mccain 4, Michelle 3, Obama 3, Reid 3, John Boehner 3, Hagel 3, Massachusetts 2, Boston 2, Jonathan 2, Krystal 2, Medicare 2,
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  MSNBC    Martin Bashir    News/Business. Journalist Martin  
   Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.  

    December 26, 2012
    1:00 - 2:00pm PST  

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democratic primary over a guy named jim shannon. then came the biggest break of all, on the same today voters turned on elliot richardson. he was one of the few heroes of watergate. but the republicans dumped him in their primary in favor of a right wing businessman. only then was john kerry's path to the senate and all the prominence and all the opportunities that senate seat has afforded him, only then was that clear. in politics we tend to ridicule losers or ignore them. but john kerry's road back is a reminder of how arbitrary this game really is. all right, that does it for "the cycle." karen finney, you're in for martin bashir and it's all yours. >> all right. it's wednesday, december 26th. we hope you're having a wonderful holiday because the president's is about to end. boehner and the boys? what's the rush?
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♪ >> first of all, we want to say merry christmas. >> president obama is cutting short his christmas break with the fiscal cliff looming large. >> the fiscal cliff gets closer. congress now has six days left to make a deal. >> aloha, hawaii. >> to my republican colleagues, the ronald reagan model is if you get 80% of what you want, that's a pretty good day. >> they were this close. they were this close to a solution. >> he's going to get tax rate hikes. >> are we going over the cliff? >> i believe we are. >> be republican and be conservative and pass a bill that cuts tax. >> boehner has no control over his extreme right wing faction. >> should anybody's taxes be raised at this point? answer yes or no. >> no. no. ♪
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>> we begin as president obama and the senate head back to washington set for one last effort to avert the first fiscal cliff. aloha means good-bye for the president as he packs bound for the white house tonight. the president cutting short his vacation leaving michelle and the girls behind as he gets back to work to try to prevent tax increases and spending cuts due to begin next week. there's just one problem. it appears there would be no house republicans to help hammer out a deal. the gop leadership has not yet called their members back to d.c. and will not be in session tomorrow for legislative business. according to one gop aide, they felt it's up to the democrats to act now. so the christmas spirit has not softened actions. but what has softened? customer confidence. in the last week gallup found
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the drop in the likelihood congress will come to a deal. also holiday spending hit its lowest rate since the 2008 recession. while the president said before he left for hawaii that he said he hoped the holiday would give them a chance to cool off and reach an agreement, it appears republicans would prefer to stay home for the holidays. merry christmas, everybody. for more on this, joining us now from washington, we have contributor jared bernstein. also a senior fellow on budget and policy priorities. and a former economist for vice president joe biden. and of course nbc's luke russert. luke, i'm starting with you. we just got a statement from speaker boehner and the house leaders. and shock. they are putting it back on the senate. tell us about the statement and where it's going from here. >> it's a fascinating ping-pong match right now. but really with the senate, john boehner, eric cantor with mccarthy and morris are saying is there are two bills the house
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passed to deal with the fiscal cliff that are now over the united states senate. if the senate wants to do anything with them, amend them and send them back to the house and perhaps the house will act on it. essentially what boehner is saying is we're not making any moves until the senate amends the two bills we passed over or sends a new one. what are in those bills? well, they essentially extend the bush tax cuts permanently for all earners. and then to avert the sequester and other types of cuts, they make what a lot of liberals have called draconian cuts to meals on wheels, food stamps. it goes into discretionary spending. the house passed bills are absolutely would go nowhere. and would be vee toad by president obama. so this is what we're seeing on the statement the day after christmas is while you guys figure out some solution, we wash our hands of it. >> as a follow-up, i'm putting
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my press secretary hat on for a second and say the response i would expect from the democratic side from the senate is hey, we passed a bill too. we passed a bill that does the same thing. why don't you just take our bill and go ahead and get it through? we need your help. >> they could well do that. the bill that has the $250,000 or below. it's interesting now that essentially here we have speaker boehner walking away saying well the senate has to act. they can do whatever. we're going to say on vacation. who does harry reid have to negotiate with them? where does he go? >> the president and harry reid can only negotiate so much. >> the question becomes if they can get a bill for 250 and below perhaps with the unemployment insurance attached to it, maybe put in sweetener with the estate tax, could they guarantee that would pass the house of representatives? from the statement we do not know that. >> jared, last week it was
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speaker boehner himself who could not get his own bill passed, the plan "b." and yet here he is trying to put it back on democrats and the president to get the bill passed making it clear they're not prepared to come back to washington and do anything to avoid the fiscal cliff. what do you think's going to happen? >> well, i thought luke took us eloquently through all the scenarios. but to me this is all simple. it really comes down to this. is john boehner willing to introduce a compromise plan in the house of the type the president offered before he left? extend the tax cuts only for the 250 and below. you kick the sequester down the road, you patch the amt and medicare fix. all that. if the speaker is willing to put that to a vote, i suspect it would pass in the house and we actually could have a compromise before the end of the year. but it would pass with mostly
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democratic votes. and the likelihood he's going to want to do that seems to me very slim. that's why i think we're probably going over the cliff. now, my hope is that it's more of a bungee jump than a cliff dive. because on the other side there's some dynamics that change such that republicans can vote for a big tax decrease off of what will then be current law. >> jared, you've got a post -- i just want to go back for a moment. while this ping-pong game is going on in washington, you've got a post on your blog showing the real drag this is having on consumer confidence. so, i mean, what can the president do to protect the economy and try to restore some degree of confidence while these negotiations are going on? >> i think it's a really great, important question. and i think what he has to do is continue to press for a compromise. i've always been struck by how strong the white house is trying to stand on a couple of measures in the compromise to support the 2013 economy.
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you just mentioned consumer confidence taking a hit from the cliff. but of course there's millions of people who would lose their unemployment benefits. and the white house has been holding fast on a deal that includes temporary jobs measures for 2015. while the white house can push that as hard as it wants, it remains up to the house republicans to take measures that would actually get this -- turn this more into a short trip over the cliff versus a much more damaging long foray. >> it strikes me that with the news of the president coming back to washington, that has got to put some pressure on the house republicans to be seen as taking action. the polls that we've seen over and over again suggests that people trust the president. that they will blame republicans if a deal doesn't go through. so look, i'm just wondering are there any rumblings on the hill from the staff level that they need to get members back to at least be seen as trying to work on a deal? >> you'd think the optics would certainly indicate that it would be better for them to be in town
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at least faking working on something than being out on recess especially the president's back. but as of right now, no. they have been very adamant saying that we're not going to bring our members back if they have nothing to do. trying to put all the pressure on democrats mainly because i think they want to try and define democrats. the other thing i think is a subplot in this, look at this how it relates to john boehner and his speakership. last week was very embarrassing. all it would take would be 28 conservative republicans to speak up and vote for somebody else which would not deprive him of the speakership but would essentially be a protest vote and make him go to a second ballot. also mitch mcconnell doesn't want his fingerprints on this because he doesn't want to be primaried. so you have these sort of -- shall we say, the lack of courage or ziesh to move on this
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from mcconnell and boehner, it's directly tied to prospects to serve in current jobs. it's a fascinating subplot. >> i want to pick up on that on something jared was starting to say. some degree we're playing a bit of a game of semantics here. because there's some calculation that the republicans say we go over the cliff and then technically we can be seen as not voting to increase taxes, but we can be seen as voting for cutting taxes once the sort of -- we go over the cliff and we're on the other side of it. am i right about that? >> yeah. it's a very cynical ploy. the idea of the tax automatically reset for everybody. they can say i didn't vote for that. they all go up. and then they can vote to lower taxes for the $250,000 and below households. that's 98% of households. that's a -- that's something like a -- you know, a multi -- that's something like 400, $500 billion of tax cuts over ten years. now, it's a tax cut relative to
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where it was four days earlier. so it's a cynical ploy. when you just think about the fact that we're here because of our gridlocked politics. i don't say pox on both their houses. i do believe house conservatives have played a heavier role in this. this is a self-inflicted wound on an economy that has a bit of underlying momentum to it. >> a cynical move on the part of republicans. thanks for joining me. up next, even the republicans are turning on them. >> the republicans want guns out to have schools. they're not asking for a security official or someone else. i don't think the nra is listening. ♪ ...so as you can see, geico's customer satisfaction is at 97%. mmmm tasty. and cut! very good. people are always asking me how we make these geico adverts.
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if it's crazy to call for putting police and arm security in our school to protect our children, then call me crazy. >> is wayne lapierre really crazy? you need a doctor to answer that question, but one thing is for sure. his grasp of reality is slipping. >> dwrour telling me if you don't have an ability to shoot off 30 rounds without refiring that possibly you could reduce the loss of life. adam lanza might not have been able to shoot as many kids? >> i don't buy your argument for a minute. >> this is why they're in trouble. wayne lapierre has claimed for decades guns blame no role in gun violence. logic is finally beating
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ideology. let's bring in epstein and richard wolffe. gentlemen, thanks for joining me. >> good to be with you. >> thanks. >> i'm going back to lapierre in a moment but first i want to talk about the christmas eve ambush in new york. >> the man responsible for killing two firefighters was also armed with a bushmaster .223, the same gun lanza used at sandy hook. of course lapierre would say this is a coincidence. but others would say this is perhaps a sign there are too many out there. >> these are first responders we're talking about. people who were throwing themselves into the line of danger to save someone's life. obviously it was an ambush. and at some point, policy makers -- we can poll any number of questions throughout the decades, but public policy makers, people who are in government need to look after public employees whether they're
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firefighters or teachers. and these kinds of weapons -- we're talking about urban situations as well. there's no argument, not a hunting argument, not a self-protection argument for this kind of weapon. and i think that's where the political debate is going to go shorply when it comes to assault weapons. >> if you go with lapierre about arming our teachers and schools, we should arm firefighters. where does it end? >> which no firefighters would want. and how are you supposed to check as well in a firefighter situation what the mental state of the person you're trying to rescue is? it makes no sense at all. and again, if you are leading, you're an executive in government you have to look at our employees as well. >> one of the things that struck me about the press conference and on meet the press, is the number of factual errors from
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lapierre. we're going to look at this and talk about it on the other side. >> killers, robbers, rapists, gang members, violent crime is increasing again. for the first time in 19 years. >> now, the increase in violent crime was due to assaults in which no weapon was involved. but you've got wayne lapierre saying precisely the opposite. >> gun prosecutions have tracked the up ticks and down ticks. the real doozy is that lapierre said on friday and again on sunday kind of fall into three categories. first is all of these questions, these policies that we're talking about, these new laws we're talking about whether they be clips or semiautomatics. whether they be background checks, somehow violate the second amendment. there are probably hundreds of challenges to in the federal courts on these laws that exist in many states. and they have all been vol
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dated. so gun restrictions, gun violence laws have been v validated in 99%. the second argument is he makes we need more prosecution of gun crimes under existing crimes. the fact of the matter is the nra has consistently opposed giving law enforcement the tools that they need. if you ask law enforcement, they will tell you they need things like a national registry of gun sales tracing technology. so when crimes occur, they're able to trace them back. law enforcement says they need background checks and the nra has opposed a comprehensive background check policy. 80% of violent crimes come use -- using firearms, come from the sales of unlicensed users. such as gun shows. >> one of the things i found ironic is you found how we need a better data base system for the mentally ill. but no mention of the work that his organization has done to block as you say these data bases that would better track
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gun sales as well as do background checks. >> that's right. they have opposed the states cooperating with the federal system. a national registry of mentally ill. they have as i said opposed all of the tools that law enforcement has asked including extending background checks responsible for most of the guns sold and used in violent crimes. the second is this doozy that guns are for self-deference. when we know as basic silence and data that if you have a gun in your home, you're 22 more times likely to be a victim. there's 22 times more likely to be a -- a victim -- a crime committed. >> right. being shot. >> or suicide. than a gun that isn't. a woman inside a home that possesses a gun is 12 times more likely to be killed as a matter of domestic violence. >> that's right. >> these are the arguments that the nra has used consistently.
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they're arguments now the public rejects. if you poll firefighters and else, they don't believe the fix is more gunfire. >> we see the news that gun sales are way up in the wake of these shootings. one thing we also know is lapierre and the nra have a bit of fear mongering about the president's going to take away your guns and suggesting that the gunwalking program was basically they let that happen so we could get support for the assault weapons ban. they're just as responsible for creating this climate of fear among gun anders and stifling having a real conversation. >> nobody's talking about taking away everyone's guns. you're left with this fear mongering. and it works for them. you know, that's why you get the specter of the urban violence that lapierre is talking about. it doesn't track where people are at. when you see some say the nra
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cannot be saved. there is no messaging that will work for them at this point. the politics are against them. that's where they become desperate just like the tobacco lobbyists did when they were up against it. in the end the politics is not going to work for them on this track. and they're going to change. >> so we've -- between newtown and christmas eve, chances that we are going to get meaningful gun control yes or no, richard you first and then you julian. >> yes. >> julian? >> yes. particularly if there is a concerted movement over many months. >> it was a yes or no. it was just a yes or no. >> but there's a key proviseo. there. every time we've done this, the nra counts on the clock. that the public will shift attention over time. the key here is the public todays focused. but that's the key contingency. >> i think the sad reality of
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the christmas eve incident is that we'll continue to see gun violence. sadly there will continue to be examples that we can point to to try to keep the pressure on. >> 30 a day. >> getting some action done. thank you to julian epstein and richard wolffe. happy new year if i don't see you. >> same to you. stay with us. we have more ahead. ♪
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we have updated information now on the health of former president george h.w. bush. a family spokesman tells nbc news he still has an elevated temperature and there remains no discussion of a discharge date from methodist hospital in houston. originally they hoped the president who's 88 years old and suffering from bronchitis will be able to celebrate christmas with his family at home. over the holiday the spokesman said the former president whose career includes two terms at
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vice president was receiving visitors and well wishes and that the family remains cautiously optimistic he'll recover. stay with us. the day's top lines are coming up. ♪ new years clutter is no match for someone with big ideas. with a new project in mind, some how-to knowledge to give us an edge, and more savings down every aisle. it only takes a few twists and turns for those bright ideas to make the new year even brighter. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. start fresh and save with hdx 20 gallon totes, a special buy at just $5.88 a piece.
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from nra dodge ball to ben affleck here's the top lines. >> merry christmas everybody. >> remember the five ds of dodge ball. >> could cow conceive guns could be part of the problem? >> what kind of gun is this? >> is that a dodge? >> dodge, duck, dip, dive, and die. >> a lot of people were frankly shocked by your presentation. >> what you just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things i've heard. >> you have to conceive it may not work.
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>> if it's crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our school to protect our children, then call me crazy. >> you're crazy, man. you're crazy. so here's a magazine for ammunition that carried 30 bullets. >> i know what you're thinking. did he fire six shots or only five? >> you want one more law on top of 20,000 laws when most of the federal gun laws are. >> enough. >> enough. >> demand a plan. >> right now. >> i need your help. i do. i have a great fondness and admiration for the political process. >> you can never ask me about what it is and we're going to hurt people. >> i'm happy being involved from the outside in government. >> ifs and ands and buts are like candy and nuts. >> i feel that it's more likely we will go over the cliff. >> the house should have gone and passed speaker boehner's bill. >> i think he's doing all he can
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and catching hell at the same time. >> we do the right things every day for the right reason. >> this looks like it was a nice rather than naughty crowd. >> ooh, let's get right to our panel. with us from washington, cohost of the cycle krystal ball. so ryan, we've got the president heading back to washington to head off the fiscal cliff. but he's also got some second term appointments on his agenda. one being the next secretary of defense. did you expect to see chuck hagel of all people so embattled from both sides? >> well, yes, sort of. yourn, you know that john mccain hates the guy. you know, he -- and he didn't create a lot of friends toward the end of his time and throughout most of his time as a senator. because he didn't really tow the party line on policy. he broke with republicans on the iraq war. and so he oftentimes would give
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democrats a way of saying what they were doing was bipartisan and then had the sheen of the veblt of a guy like hagel so it's this guy that's been a thorn in their side the whole time. now here he is he might be elevated to secretary of defense. and you could see that's going to bother the same types of people that seem to be bothered by every other person that's floated by obama. and that's mccain and graham and those fellas. >> but we've heard about this mccain not liking or hating chuck hagel. what's that about? what's their history? from one maverick to another. >> exactly. there's only so much room in the senate for mavericks. you know? and mccain is the maverick. there's also only so much room for war heroes. so there's that animosity too. but mccain never once wavered on the iraq war. he stuck with it the entire
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time. and he despised anybody who we thought turned on it too early. and he faults hagel for that. for bailing on the iraq war. the first for personality stuff. second urt comes down to iraq. >> the other thing that's been curious here is this sort of process is evolving where the names get floated out there without actually being named. only to be attacked without having anybody to their support. >> and and b rhea mitchell was pretty critical with the white house strategy if it is a strategy. let's take a listen. >> this cannot continue to float trial balloons and have them shot down. the president can't get perceived to being rolled by opponents. the problem chuck hale el has who is a lot of support is that he's now getting shot at from the left and the right. >> i mean, isn't the concern whether you're for chuck hagel or not that if you're thinking
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that you might be nominated or your name might be floated, you might say i don't want my name floated. if you keep watching this kind of process go on. >> well, i mean -- another take which i'm not sure i believe, but another possibility is that this is all, like, cold hard calculation by the administration. and that they never actually preferred chuck hagel but put him up as a decoy so somebody else could more easily get through the nomination process. i think andrea is right there. it looks bad if the president does now decide to go in another direction. and the other thing that's weird here is i'm fine with chuck hagel. i'm not a huge fan of his, but because i feel he's the president' top choice, that makes me feel defensive about him. whereas if you were just giving me the two names michelle and chuck, i would be inclined to want to see the great accomplishment who has been
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there for democrats through thick and thin. and i also have to say i'm not crazy about this trend of democrats consistently nominating republican secretaries of defense as if we have no one on our own side who can handle the job. but the politics get muddled when the name gets floated. you feel like you want to defend them even though maybe they're not the top choice. >> at a time when democrats are leading on defense why we feel like we have to go republican, curious to me. because i'm a conspiracy theorist. so let's play out your conspiracy theory. what i find interesting and ryan i want to get you in on this. what she is saying is chuck hagel is now the decoy. you see some people being behind michelle. and one of those luminaries bill kristol, paul wolfewitz has
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praised her. is this a back handed strategy to build support for the first potential defense secretary? >> i think it almost has to be. because it would be so easy to put him out there and defeat a republican. because it would be a political win/win for him then. if he gets confirmed, then they've got hagel. if he doesn't, then republicans look insanely obstructionist by blocking somebody in their own party from joining the cabinet. so why couldn't obama do that? one answer might be that he doesn't actually want him to be his first choice. you know, especially coming after the entire susan rice thing. they could have forced republicans to knock down susan rice in a more official way.
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but they let him get away without more heat. >> i love the idea that instead of a republican no offense to the republican party believe it or not coming from me, i would love to see this woman be nominated because as you point out, her qualifications are stellar. i think perhaps some republicans have been praising her for some of the wrong reasons. the truth is she has an incredible reputation. >> she has an incredible reputation. it would be a ground breaking nomination. first woman secretary of defense. i also love the fact she has young children and a family. that's just an amazing role model type of thing there. so i would like to see her in the position like i said. now my feelings are all complicated because i think maybe chuck hagel is the top choice. and if he is the top choice, then he should get the job and this should be heard in a confirmation hearing, but i think michele would be an amazing secretary of defense.
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>> well, it's another one of the parlor games we will keep watching. krystal ball and ryan grim, thank you so much. >> thanks. >> thank you. next, mitt romney had no desire to be president? it's a special christmas message to the thousands of volunteers on his behalf. stay with us. >> oh. this is where i wanted to be. ♪
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just when you thought the romney family had learned to stop talking about the election, or stop talking altogether, we get another awkward announcement. this time it's tag romney. the oldest of the five romney
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boys that tells the "boston globe" that his father never wanted to be president that much anyway. funny thing is most of the voters felt the same way. let's bring in jonathan capehart and susan delpersio. i've got to start with you, sorry girl. here's what tag romney tells the "boston globe" about his dad. quote, he wanted to be president less than anyone i've met in my life. he had no desire to run. he would have been ecstatic to step aside. as a republican, you must be thrilled to hear that. no? >> i think this quote -- as a strategist i think this falls on the category of when family members and friends try to help and make a story look better in which case it kind of backfires. because the truth is you don't do what mitt romney did. he's run for governor, he's run before. you don't do this unless you wanted it more than anything else. however, if it was really the case and he needed to be persuaded to run, that explains a lot.
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>> although i'm going to guess on election night he sure wanted it when he thought he was winning. >> absolutely. >> jonathan, you had this great column about this. the man who had no desire to run learned that the american people had no desire to have him in the white house. so i guess it all worked out, right? >> yeah. it all worked out. when i heard about this what day was that monday? i thought that on the one hand, i believe him, because he ran one of the worst presidential campaigns that i can possibly remember. maybe there's something in the water in massachusetts because, you know, mike dukakis ran a terrible campaign as well. >> ooh. you're going to hear from folks from massachusetts on that one. >> that's fine. that's all right. that's okay. but on the other hand, i don't believe that mitt romney had no desire to run. this is a man who had been running for six years. this is a man who buried all of his opponents in an avalanche of
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negative ads in order to win. this is a guy who went to the right of everybody on that -- on those debate stages. just for the sole purpose of winning. >> to that point, i think jonathan raises a good issue. i don't think he ran the campaign he wanted to or envisioned himself to run when he started out. because he did have to go so far to the right and twist himself into a pretzel. >> then that's malpractice on many fronts. if you look at what john mccain had to do, he had to do the same thing. and the thing we know between the time mccain ran to win we went to 2007 or 2012 election, the conservative party got more conservative. so it was not so likely that you were going to have to be less so. here's what really bothered me about this. kind of joking aside, you know, i was thinking about the young people. not the veterans like you and me who are jaded and all, but the young people who really believed and gave their time and maybe a year of their lives or two years
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of their lives. probably not six years of their lives. but what are they going to think when they hear this and doesn't that disillusion them? >> absolutely. that's why, again, i think this was a mistake made by tagg. especially if he's thinking of going into elected office which has been rumored. >> i don't think he has an opportunity to do that anymore. >> it was really -- it does do a disservice to a whole lot of people. a lot of people put in their time for over a year. so it does -- again, i think he was trying to say his father's such a humble man that he would never want that and that we had to convince him that he should do this for the greater good. but it really just missed the mark. and family members should stay quiet. like you said in the opening, no one from the romney family should be speaking out. >> wasn't it ann romney that said we're lucky that he was running? jonathan, you also said in your column that the american people don't like to feel that the
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person who's running for president is doing them a favor. and as i pointed out, ann romney made that comment at one point. is that just something that the romneys never understood? that it's not about them, it's about us as americans. >> yeah. i mean, when you think back to the central question for mitt romney was why are you running for president. if you asked that question of barack obama you knew the answer. whether you like the answer or not, but you knew exactly why president obama was running and running for re-election. with mitt romney, you had no idea. with mitt romney, it all felt like he's running to be president just because he wants to be president. he wants the house. he wants the plane. he wants the tank. the armor plated limousine. and that's about it. and so to hear that he had no desire to run, that someone who least likely wanted to be president that tagg has met in his entire life is disconcerting
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for those people who went into that voting booth and voted for mitt romney thinking that he really wanted to be their leader. >> so message to tagg and the rest of the family, ixnay on the talking. stop. it's over. jonathan capehart and susan delpercio, thank you. next the president is headed to washington, d.c. we'll take you to hawaii. ♪ i love the holidays. and with my bankamericard cash rewards credit card, i love 'em even more. i earn 1% cash back everywhere, every time. 2% on groceries. 3% on gas. automatically. no hoops to jump through. that's 1% back on... [ toy robot sounds ] 2% on pumpkin pie. and apple. 3% back on 4 trips to the airport. it's as easy as... -[ man ] 1... -[ woman ] 2... [ woman ] 3. [ male announcer ] the bankamericard cash rewards card. apply online or at a bank of america near you.
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in just a few hours, president obama will board air force one bound for washington cutting short his family vacation in hawaii. while the rest stay behind, the president comes back to the task of working with congress to avert the looming fiscal cliff within the next six days. it's a matter that's been made all the more difficult with news today that speaker boehner's
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house will not be back to work on thursday. we've got kristen welker joining us from beautiful honolulu. that's a lovely spot there. >> it is. hey, karen. >> hey. wel get to the fiscal cliff in just a moment. we understand that you've just gotten word that the president is actually getting updates on the condition of former president rw bush. what can you tell us about that sfl. >> that's right. according to a senior official, president obama has been kept up to date on the condition of former president bush. he is recovering. he spent christmas in the hospital. doctors kept him there after concern that his fever was increasing. now, the senior administration officials won't confirm who's updating president obama. karen, it's not unusual for a sitting president to be kept in the loop when this type of situation arouss. when a former president is ill. so we are being told he has been kept in the loop. and of course the entire white house watching quite closely and
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everyone hoping he makes a full recovery soon. doctors have said they are cautiously optimistic. that former president bush will recover. so everyone with the white house sharing that opinion. >> and our prayers are with him as i'm sure the president's are. so kristen, just switching gears here. there's been no action on the fiscal cliff in the last few days. you've got the president coming back. you've got boehner and the house saying we're not coming back and basically it's all on the president. here's the problem as i see it. at a point, there's only so far the president and senator reid can get. mcconnell and boehner have to agree to come back and do something. >> that's right. i mean, right now the talks are largely between the white house and senate majority leader reid's office at the staff level. i am told. but eventually they will have to determine if they can get this bill through the senate and then
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ultimately through the house. aides close to these talks say senator reid will not bring a bill to the floor unless he knows he can get it through or at least he has guarantees from republicans that they will not block it. so his goal right now is to come up with a stopgap measure, a smaller bill that at the least prevents taxes from going up on middle class americans, extends unemployment insurance, and knocks down those spending cuts set to go in effect during the first of the year. >> all right. thanks so much. >> indeed. we'll kb right back to clear the air. ♪ ♪ [ female announcer ] he could be the one. soulmate. husband. loving father to your children. but first you've got to get him to say, "hello." new crest 3d white arctic fresh toothpaste. use it with these 3d white products,
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crazy. okay, you are crazy. not just because you've been unable to admit the roles of guns in gun violence and because you want to put armed guards in schools. you're crazy to think you could get away with so many factually inaccurate statements. versions of with can be found. and in the hands of american soldiers in afghanistan. in that interview, you also said -- >> they say these guns are more powerful. not true. they say they make bigger holes. not true. they say they use larger bullets. not true. they say they're weapons of war. not true. they say they're like weapons our military uses, not true. >> that right there he's not telling the truth. we're talking about the damage these weapons which are like the guns are soldiers use in war are capable of doing. according to reports we now know the shooter who killed two firefighters in webster, new york, used the bushmaster .223,
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the same assault rifle used in newtown, connecticut, the beltway sniper shootings in 2000, and in aurora, colorado, where the shooter used a modified ar-15 with a 100-drum magazine. here's how bushmaster firearms describes another one of its rifles the acr quote, the first of its kind and the only rifle you need to master the infinite number of extreme scenarios you'll face in the worlds of law enforcement and personal defense. they go on to describe quote, the ultimate military combat weapons system. built specifically for our law enforcement and commercial markets. it's true that the commercially available ar-15 and bushmaster .223 are semiautomat semiautomatic. that infantry men use in iraq and afghanistan which have a three-wound burst or automatic settings. in talks to members of

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